11This Week in Northern California
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up next. >>> good evening. i'm belva davis. welcome to this week in northern california. joining me is a writer, an soerted press reporter. also, bloomberg technology reporter. what does it say about hp the fact that they are bringing on a new ceo? >> hewlett packard helped create silicon valley. this company was started in the 1930s in a garage and grew. they helped to create a temp let. this is a company that's fired three ceos in the last six years. more recently one that was just let go just yesterday. the hp board is hoping whitman can provide a steady hand and maybe quail some of the dissension in the executive ranks and get the company moving as one again. >> what is the problem? is it a loss of focus in the company or a loss of personality. >> there are two problems. hp has a 41 billion dollar a year pc business. they are the biggest pc maker in the world, bigger than dell, bigger than apple. they have printers and computer and networking gear sitting inside these corporate data centers. they do everything on desk tops to computers that run the world's businesses. they also
life without make up. coming up next. >>> good evening. i'm belva davis. welcome to this weekend california. joining me first are david baker san francisco chronicle energy reporter. and josh richmond, oakland tribune. josh, give us a snapshot of just where the political climate is like in this state. we've got a lot of polls this week. >> a lot of poll this is week. what the polls are basically showing is president obama is now less popular in california than he has been sense taking office. he has a 46% approval rating now down from 54% a few months ago. for the first time since he's been in office a majority of california voters are disapproving of the way he's handling the company. they still have a generally positive review of him in personal regard. they like him, 55%. democrats tend to like him by a 5-1 margin and republicans tend to hate him by a 4-1 margin. the interesting thing is it appears that as much as people dislike the president they seem to dislike everybody else much more. another poll came out showing that he has double digit leads over the two presumptive rep
at hewlett packard. >>> also, protesting for better benefits and patient care. >>> a $44 million settlement for the 2007 accident that sentd 53,000 gallons of oil into the bay. >>> also, a snapshot of poverty follow a recent u.s. senate report showing levels had risen sharply in california, coming up next. >>> good evening. i'm belva davis. welcome to this week in northern california. joining me is a writer, an soerted press reporter. also, bloomberg technology reporter. what does it say about hp the fact that they are bringing on a new ceo? >> hewlett packard helped create silicon valley. this company was started in the 1930s in a garage and grew. they helped to create a temp let. this is a company that's fired three ceos in the last six years. more recently one that was just let go just yesterday. the hp board is hoping whitman can provide a steady hand and maybe quail some of the dissension in the executive ranks and get the company moving as one again. >> what is the problem? is it a loss of focus in the company or a loss of personality. >> there are two problems. hp has a 41 billion dollar a year pc business. they are the biggest pc maker in the world, bigger than dell, bigger than apple. they have printers and computer and networking gear sitting inside these corporate data centers. they do everything on desk tops to computers that run the world's businesses. they also sell a lot of ink. how do you get conglomerate with these systems rolling in the same direction. that's one problem. secondly, they have a devicive board. ray lang would say this is not the hp board of old. this isn't the hp board that spied on employees and reporters and solicited phone records. but yet the people we talk to, our sources say there must be something institutional going on where this board keeps chewing through ceos. >> i guess the basic question i have is this is a pretty big step up business wise. when she left ebay i think she left with about 16,000 employees and 300 employees at hp. and, she's a billionaire already. there is no guarantee she is going to succeed. why does she want this job? >> on one handing with this is a chance for her, of course, to refurbish her reputation. as far as the size, of course she has run nothing of this size before. she admitted to that. yesterday when i spoke with her she told me she has run large companies. she also pointed to her experience of buying software, all though that seems somewhat less relevant. bloomberg of course has a wealth of financial data at its fingertips. when she left ebay in 2008 it was about a half billion dollar company. hp is a much greater scale. >> how much danger is really hp in? i know i read there is a danger that the company has explored selling the pc business. give us a sense of how much trouble it is in. where is the stock price compared to where it used to be. >> there are a couple things going on here. the second thing is where hp stock is at. this ceo change was in no small part because the stock was plummeting. it is down since between they took over and the time that we first reported that he was going to be fired. 47% drop in the stock. now, that's not good for anyone, certainly shareholders are quite restless about this. the other problem is it makes rp perhaps vulnerable to a takeover. they could haven't that situation th situation. they needed to get that under control. on the competitive side, though, this is still a very profitable company. they have cut sale estimates. the problem is here is two-fold. number one, on the pc side, it is a commodity business. it is a race to the bottom as far as pricing and profit go. they have to duke it out with dell. they have to duke it out with the chinese pc makers. do they want to be in this business or not. they need to evaluate this. on the other hand, in the places they want to go, enterprise computing, enterprise software for large businesses, tough competitors out there. >> could this be a steppingstone to another race or something? >> she joined the board and our sources say she hadn't been the first to raise her hand and had to be coaxed into it. so, this is another possibility. the former chairman said he himself considered stepping into an interim ceo role and conducting a search. i don't think there is anything wrong with the search. on the one hand they still had a lot of data points left over from a year ago. secondly, they looked inside. lang told wall street yesterday he didn't see anyone that was ready yet. >> well, there is another story that captured our attention this week, and that was with the nurses, the larger northern california area with this very large disruptive strike. >> northern california and central california. the strike affected 34 hospitals in total. the focus of the strike, it was two of the larger hospital chains in the state. the focus of the strike was on center health where there are these on going contract negotiations between the california nurses association, the nurses there and management. the issues there are, you know, concerns on the nurse's side. they claim that management has come to the table with a range of concessions that management is demanding that nurses take. among them would be increase in health care costs for the workers. cut in pay for new nurses who come on board, reduce retire health coverage. a lot of the nurses i talked to and the union officials say their main thing is for health care. they hope it would reduce nurses' ability to advocate for patients. they would, you know, encourage nurses to come in to work when they are sick, which we all know could expose patients to their illnesses. so, there is a broad range of concerns, not the least of which was concerns about patient care. >> belva: was the strike as big as promised? was it as many people involved as labor had said? >> depends on who you talk to. union officials were expecting 23,000 nurses to go out on strike, and they didn't have an estimate of the strike so they kind of were sticking to those numbers. the hospitals were saying a lot of nurses ended up crossing the picket line, ended up showing up for work, weren't in support of the union's tactics. it's hard to tell, but still in the smear of these nurses' strikes it still seems like quite a large one. there were some strikes earlier this year at a keiser facility in los angeles, but that was only about 2,000 nurses. there was a big strike last year in the minneapolis area that included about 12,000 nurses. so, it seems like quite a large labor strike. >> difficult time to be going on strike with 12% unemployment in california. as i understand it, some of these issues, for example, in pay, they are being given the same amount of money, right? that's not a takeback. obviously they are taking a big risk to go out on strike and all these other people are coming in taking their jobs temporarily. where do they go from here? is this going to be a longer action? are they willing to risk that? >> right now what's happening is there is an on going lockout. you have a situation at sutter. children's hospital is the third hospital in oakland. they did hire replacement nurses. the hospitals claim that these replacement nurses as part of their contract they have to be on for a certain number of days. so they cannot allow -- they don't want to pay two sets of nurses. they cannot allow the striking nurses to come back for several days. the union officials say this is a result of the decision to go on strike to begin with. but, both sides told me, the union told me today it is willing to strike again and it's demanding that management take all these concessions off the table in order to continue the talks and the negotiations. >> i have a bigger picture question. what is this strike say about the erosion of benefits at good middle class jobs? what do people think about that? >> it came up a little bit in terms of the conversations i had with some nurses talking about how, exactly how they are struggling to make ends meet and how they are having to pay more. and when you increase the cost of their benefits you're really eroding your pay. the hospital claims that up until now, this is again at sutter health, that workers weren't paying for their health benefits. so, this is now time for them to you know, start paying for some of these things so they can continue to keep patient cost down at the same time. >> belva: before we move on, was there andfect on patient care? >> not really. that's what the hospitals were maintaining. they brought in replacement nurses and they said that -- keiser said they were able to operate at full levels. with the combination of folks to crossed over they were able to operate without any problems. >> belva: thank you. now, finally a story where there is a settlement to talk about. a big problem where we've come to some conclusion. tell us about how this came about. >> i don't know how much people remember about this, but it was our own little exxon valdez in 2007. a 901 foot long cargo ship was heading from oakland to south korea. it was heavy fog. they couldn't even see the end of the ship, and they made the probably wrong decision to sail anyway. the local pilot, a guy named john coda was on the bridge of the ship with the chinese captain. they weren't communicating very well. they looked at a little red mark on the electronic chart. coda asked the chinese captain is that the middle of the bridge where i sail through. he said yes i think so. he steered the ship right at it. turned out it was actually marking the support tower of the bay bridge. 55 gallon oil spill. we had the settlement announced this week where the shipping owner and the shipping operator which hired the crew and operated the ship, a company called fleet management, both based in hong kong agreed to pay the federal and state government $44 million to cover the cleanup cost and to pay for restoration of wetlands were birds, fish and also more public access projects, the beaches around the area. >> belva: well, in addition to the oil spill, you also, this week, have some news about the state of the bay. >> it's been a big week for the bay actually. there is a report that comes out every two years. it is a lot of scientists who has a conference in oakland and they present all of their findings about animals and fish and hydrology and a lot of things that have to do with the bay. essentially this report found there are three main areas where the bay is doing better, three main areas where it is doing worse. we cleaned up the treatment plants. banned adt, lots of over chemicals. second we we don't fill the bay as much as we used to. finally w l finally, third, this huge restoration of the wetlands. we've restored 10,000 acres of property back to habitat, marshes for wild life. on the down side, there is still a lot of trash going into the bay, a lot of invasive species. we also need a billion dollars to finish the rest of the wetlands over the next generations. finally, there are huge fresh water diversions. about 50% of all the fresh watter that should flow into the bay is diverted to farms and cities so fish populations are really shrinking because of that. >> are we still seeing effects of that oil spill today in terms of birds and other species? >> it's a good question, and apparently the answer is no. a lot of scientists have been studying it very closely. they estimated that 6,800 birds died. up to a quarter of the fishery were killed. what we found in the scientific studies is the herring numbers are up to where they were before the spill. we're going to need a few more years before we know whether the bird population has recovered. >> belva: is this an exceptionally large settlement or is it what one would expect? >> no. there is a law called the oil pollution act of 1990 that passed after the exxon valdez spill. it is not as big as like the valdez spill which was 200 times more oil than this spill. that was a billion dollars. >> what about the local pilot? we haven't talked about him. how did he come to make such an impaired judgment and where is he now? >> the national transportation board did a report after. they found out he was taking as many as 12 medications, a whole range of vicodin, zoloft that they say impaired his judgment on the bridge. he pleaded dp eed guilty on cri charges. he is out. as we reported this week, he has quietly asked the coast guard for his mariner's license back. he's 62. the coast guard turned him down at first. he has appealed. with don't know when he is going to make the decision. if the coast guard gives him back his license, he will be sailing big ships again potentially. there are going to be some meetings in october where there is going to be community projects. you will see public access on other types of work. >> and were environment alist pleased. >> not as much. >> thanks to all of you for joining me here tonight. >>> new u.s. census figures released last week show poverty levels rose last year across the united states and dramatically in california. in a moment, a conversation with reporters about on going coverage of poverty in the bay area and other parts of the state. first, a clip from a video made by youth journalist shawn schaver. >> i have been living out of my storage since january. everyday i go get clothes for a day or two and leave and go wherever i can go. i call somebody and ask if i can stay at their house and maybe make arrange ms. sometimes people will let me come to they house. sometimes they done. it's just a everyday struggle. i been trying to look for a job. i even been on a couple job interviews. when it comes time to given a address, i don't know what address to give them. i never know where i'm gone that be at so it's hard for me to look for a job in that city if i don't know if i'm going to be in that city. >> joining me now is youth journalist with new american media and jacob seaman. shawn, why did you want to record this story with your sister? >> well, i thought her story needed to be told. not too many young people living out of their storage unit that i know. it's just a lot of people like that out there that are in extreme situations to where they don't have a place to go. i just thought that the story needed to be told. >> what were her spirits, not knowing where she was going to spend the day? >> she was very depressed a lot of the time. every time i spoke to her she would complain about how she didn't deserve this because she had worked hard. she also went to college sf state and she figured that this was like beneath her, you know what i mean. she just felt like she needed, you know, an outlet or someone to talk to basically. >> belva: jacob, how common is this story where people have reached the edge, sort offaling off the clip but not off it already? >> well, if you look at the most recent census figure that came out last week, it's not looking good. according to the census more and more people are falling into poverty across california. the numbers as of 2010 though that 15% of the nation was living in poverty. in california it is about 16%. in certain parts of california, if you look at some of the rural communities and the central valley counties like kings, frsz no, some of those get to 20%. i think it's important to understand how the census bureau measures poverty. they use what's called the federal poverty line which is where family of four, two adults and two kids, that's $22,000 aier. so, think about that for a moment. that poverty level, that's the same number they use to measure poverty in the bay area and in california that they do in georgia and mississippi and florida, ohio. and we know what the cost of living is in california. and we know what the cost of living is in the bay area. in a way we kind of need to take these numbers with a grain of salt. >> how is your sister surviving? is there support from friends or family, or who? how is she surviving? >> a lot of support from friends. family is kind of scarce. they are not distant, know what i mean? she gets government assistance as well. so. >> belva: in terms of food stamps? >> yes. she gets that. and she also gets a check as well. but like sometimes she doesn't know where to get the check at because she doesn't have an actual home she's living in her storage unit basically. >> belva: and she spends her days just -- tell us a little bit about the family situation because it is different. she's your stepsister? >> yes. yes. actually she's my father's child, and my father lives in arizona, and she's kind of like out here in california on her own. he's not really willing to take her in. i don't really understand that or really know why. and my mother doesn't really know her well enough to allow her to come to our home. >> what are some of the situations that allow people to get to this report? some reports indicate that race is a factor, that blacks and latinos are suffering a little more. >> that's true. if you look at the sta tis teches and -- statistics, porty all people equally. the poverty numbers jump to 27, 28% for blacks, latinos. when you look at things under a microscope and you go into certain communities that really are for the most part, invisible, those numbers jump even more. which is why our organization thought it was important to try to do some reporting that would put a human face on some of this data because if you're living in the bay area, in particular, a town like san francisco, it's a wealthy town, and if you're living in a place like san francisco, most folks are not going to go to hunters point. if you're living in oakland hills, you're probably not going to go to west oakland. these are some of the places with the hig
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